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PNB’s Veloso: “Public spending will help the economy”
In this CEO Perspectives piece, Philippine National Bank President and CEO Wick Veloso shares details of his bank’s initiatives for employees’ safety, the pandemic’s sweeping effects in the Philippine context, and what it will take for the economy to recover.

May 07, 2020 | Wick Veloso
  • Telecommuting is the new normal of working for many
  • Positive household consumption shored up by the government’s efforts geared towards low-income groups will help with economic recovery
  • Past investments in digital technology have allowed banks to remain operational even amid strict quarantine measures

Nothing prepares us for a pandemic like this, but quick, decisive actions help. As key economies try to manage the outbreak, the top concern remains to be the safety of customers and employees. We understand the risk of having to work in this time of crisis, which is why we have implemented various initiatives to ensure our employees’ well-being.

Prioritising safety amid business continuity

For everyone’s protection, our employees work remotely and continue to serve customers. For many of my colleagues, telecommuting is our new normal. We have a dedicated skeleton workforce to ensure critical support functions are not disrupted. Our corporate offices and branches are constantly being sanitised. New norms of social distancing and preventive controls were likewise reinforced in the workplace. We also cancelled or postponed our sales and corporate gatherings.

Like many other banks in the country, Philippine National Bank (PNB) has been doing business continuity plan (BCP) simulations and regular stress-testing. As such, PNB is operating business-as-usual. At this time, we encourage our customers to transact in the safety of their homes through our digital banking channels. We have set up digital alternatives to face-to-face interactions to limit unnecessary exposure.

While we temporarily closed some of our branches, we have kept several open with shortened banking hours. We also have over 1,500 ATMs nationwide for the public’s cash withdrawal needs.

We continue to follow guidance from our regulators and the Philippine government. In support of the authorities’...

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